The Street Evangelist

The Street Evangelist


‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’
Surely these are the words that provide the driving force
For street evangelists, sometimes, unkindly called Bible-thumpers
Those whose urge to proselytize will not be suppressed

And as I edge by why do I feel slightly embarrassed and ill at ease?
Is it because I think that it is vulgar for the sacred word
To be exposed to ridicule, or more likely, totally ignored
The Message condemned because of the ranting of the messenger?

The preacher and his henchmen encourage others to gather round
And just a few pause for a moment tuning their ears to unfamiliar words
Spoken from the King James Version – is this Shakespeare or what?
Words of challenge familiar to us from Sunday School texts

I suppose that in this modern day of social media where many
Voices clamour for our attention, street preachers are an anachronism
But perhaps for that very reason I feel both admiration and discomfiture
Why should the glory of the gospel be retailed on street corners?

Soon enough I turn away but not before I have heard snatches
Of the invitation to accept the saving grace of Jesus
The call to walk in God’s way and to repent my sins
This is altogether too heavy – I skulk off  for a burger!

Ken Fisher


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